Sound — 8
Personally, I think Metallica is the best band on the planet, so I maybe a bit biased. However, although not the best Metallica album, St. Anger isn't the worst. In last place, I put Reload (country metal?) It seems that most people don't like the way the band went with St. Anger. I found that, after watching Some Kind Of Monster, it all made a bit more sense. As to the solos (or lack thereof), Kirk has gotten sick of them. Makes sense, really. I mean, 20 years of them. Time for a break. I'm not sure why they dropped the guitars out, but it works for the overall tone of the album.
Lyrics — 10
I've seen a lot of complaints about the lyrical style of this album. This was the first Metallica album where the entire band had a hand in what was said. Thus, it has varying views. It was written before and immediately after James' rehab period. Thus, it's a very introspective album. The lyrics are meant to express the feelings that James used to always hide with a bottle. James seems to be screaming a bit more than usual, but I've never really expected true singing from him. The vocal "harmonies" were an interesting touch, used quite well.
Overall Impression — 8
As I said, this isn't Metallica's best, but it isn't their worst, either. My favourite songs are (in order of track listing) "Some Kind Of Monster," "Invisible Kid," "Sweet Amber," and "The Unnamed Feeling" (my favourite). I don't like the snare Lars uses, but I love the bass drum speed stomping. Through looking at tabs, I find that the third and fifth frets got used a bit too much, but most of the riffs were still quite effective. Overall, I'm reasonably happy with St. Anger. It did take a few listens to get used to it, but it eventually grew on me. If it were lost/stolen, I'd probably borrow it from a friend and rip it, or download it (I don't have 20 bucks right now).